Emissions Gap Report: We Are on Track for Warming of 3.2°C
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The seventh edition of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) 'Emissions Gap Report' finds that the emissions level resulting from full implementation of all unconditional intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) would lead to a temperature increase of 3.2°C until 2100.

3 November 2016: The seventh edition of the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP, or UN Environment) ‘Emissions Gap Report’ finds that the emissions level resulting from full implementation of all unconditional intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) would lead to a temperature increase of 3.2°C until 2100. It thus urges enhanced pre-2020 action to achieve the agreed objectives of the Paris Agreement to limit an increase in temperature to 1.5°C.

The report assesses the INDCs that have been submitted by almost all countries and compares the resulting emissions level in 2030 with what is required by science to be on track for limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5°C. It states that while the expected emissions levels are within the ranges presented in the 2015 Emissions Gap Report, the enhanced ambition of the Paris Agreement requires even stronger action in the short-term and deeper emissions cuts in the medium- and long-terms.

The study notes that enhanced pre-2020 and pre-2030 action would reduce the transitional challenges of shifting emissions pathways such as: reduced lock-in of carbon and energy-intensive infrastructure; reduced overall costs and economic challenges; reduced future dependence on unproven technologies; reduced climate risk; and the realization of immediate co-benefits.

With regard to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions trends, the study finds that while total emissions continue to increase, carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use and industry appear to be stabilizing. It notes, however, that it is too early to determine whether this trend is likely to be permanent.

The assessment finds that the emissions gap for 2030 is 12 to 14 GtCO2eq when comparing current emissions projections with 2°C scenarios, and 15 to 17 GtCO2eq when comparing with 1.5°C scenarios.

The document shows that, collectively, G20 countries are on track to meet their Cancun Pledges for 2020, but notes that these pledges are insufficient to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The assessment finds that the emissions gap for 2030 is 12 to 14 GtCO2eq when comparing current emissions projections with 2°C scenarios, and 15 to 17 GtCO2eq when comparing with 1.5°C scenarios. Full implementation of unconditional INDCs would lead to an increase in temperature of 3.2°C; including implementation of conditional INDCs would reduce the increase to 3°C.

With regard to opportunities for increasing ambition, the report notes that: policies in some countries provide room for increasing ambition; non-state actor initiatives could achieve additional emissions reductions between 2020 and 2030; and significant reductions could be achieved through strengthening policies on energy efficiency.

On interlinkages between the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the report underlines the need to develop and implement national targets that achieve both agendas while optimizing benefits, maximizing synergies and reconciling trade-offs. [UNEP Press Release] [The Emissions Gap Report 2016]


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